Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Review - Criminal Minds Season 5 Episode 16 Mosley Lane

This is the first time Matthew Gray Gubler has directed on the show, and he did an above average job. There were, however, major problems with the episode that were probably out of his control. I don't know how he came to direct this particular episode, but the script felt very unpolished. The necessary elements were all there: creepy unsubs, parents in anguish, and a heartwarming yet sad conclusion.

Structurally, it was all over the place. The episode begins with the team already in Virginia, preparing to leave. Only after Sarah, a mother of a boy missing 8 years ago, arrives with information and determination. Not once during the episode is a profile given or the motivations of the unsubs explained. The show is supposed to deal with the minds of criminals. In this episode, there was not even an attempt to explain why these two older people kidnapped kids of a young age and let some of them grow.

The focus on the episodes was on the parents and their reactions to the possibility their children may be alive. It was the most emotional episode since "100" and those scenes were exceptional. The balance of the episode was so skewed, the wonderfully creepy scenes of the unsubs amounted to nothing more than scenes to keep the tension high.

The quotes are usually not that bothersome, but it was too hokey in this episode. Nietzsche is quoted first saying that hope is the worst of evil that prolongs the torment of man. At the end of the episode, J.J. quotes Emily Dickinson, saying that hope is like a feather that sings the tune without words and never stops. Did the writers really have to be so obvious with two blatantly opposing quotes on hope?

While the episode was "off" from the normal formula in a bad way, the writers intended for the episode to be emotional and sad. The rest was really just filler. Again, my scoring is arbitrary, so don't look too much into it.

Score: 8.9/10
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